In an age of all out social war over issues like abortion, this is an attempt at a fair look at the debate. It’s an attempt to not shoot missiles at the other side, hoping the same can be done in return.
The debate about abortion hinges around several key disagreements:
- When is a fetus considered a human? (alternative wording: when does a fetus have a soul?)
- Women’s rights (in tension with baby/fetus’s rights)
- “Birth control” abortions & extreme cases like rape, incest, death of the mother, etc.
I am a man and will never know what it’s like to be pregnant. When I have sex, I do not have to take into consideration that it might make me pregnant for 9 months, with a baby to care for and nurse thereafter. I also acknowledge the way women have been abused by men throughout history in macro and micro ways. My goal is to be as objective as possible and as sympathetic as possible to both women and babies. It seems like the pro-life view is “babies only” and the pro-choice view is “women only.” It’s probably more convenient for both sides to think that way, and is one of the reason there is such little common ground. I hope we can care and talk about both women and babies. Women should have the voice on what happens to women, but men and women have equal voices on what happens to babies, for babies cannot speak for themselves.
When is a fetus considered a human?
A popular pro-life view is that life begins at conception. (“Life” = the soul begins at conception; the baby is a human being at conception)
A popular pro-choice view is that life begins once the baby is viable, once it is able to live in the outside world independent of its mother. (22-27 weeks)
Let’s throw both of these out as arbitrary conclusions for right now. Yes, both can be argued for, and argued for passionately as they usually are! But they are also both discussion killers. Let’s start by saying, “We don’t know when a fetus becomes a soul.” Because, in truth, we don’t know. This will sound a little crude, but we can all agree that a pile of sperm and an egg are not a soul. And we can all agree that when a baby comes out of the birth canal, it has a soul. So somewhere in between those two events, it becomes a soul-filled human being with accompanying equal rights as a human.
Pregnancy Tracking Websites for Moms
Since I’m a man, I’m going to defer to women here. There are lots of pregnancy websites and mobile apps out there, created by women, for women, that help a woman track her pregnancy. I just picked a random one with the help of Google (Kaiser Permanente).
The women who make these websites and the pregnant mothers who are using them obviously believe their 5 week fetus is a baby, a human being. You don’t fall in love with tissue. Women track their whole pregnancies this way, with these websites offering cute size comparisons along the way like “Your baby is the size of a blueberry…,” “Your baby is the size of a fig…” Yes, a fig. Some couples start giving their growing child a nickname to go along with one of these size comparisons during these phases that ends up sticking.
My wife had a miscarriage when the baby was at 7 1/2 weeks. It was her first pregnancy. That was six years ago and she recently told me she thinks about and mourns for that baby every single day. She also expects to see that baby in heaven someday, and tells our living children the same.
How hurtful it is to women who mourn the miscarriages of their lost babies when the pro-choice movement tells them they did not lose a baby, but only some tissue. Like it’s the equivalent of getting your appendix removed. This is not coming from the perspective of a man, it is straight from the mouth of my wife, and on behalf of many women she knows who have had miscarriages in their first trimesters, who will always live with this void. I am a man, but I am allowed to loudly echo the voices of women, standing up for them and with them.
The viability of baby away from mother determines human status
According to a 2015 New York Times article, a baby can be viable at 22 weeks at the earliest. Pro-choice advocates often use the viability test to determine between if a baby is a fetus (non-human) or a human. While some babies aren’t viable until 27 weeks (thus at 26 weeks would be non-human), we’ll use the 22 week mark as our measure. With this measure, it means a 21 week baby (pictured) in the womb is a non-human fetus and not a human baby.
So back to our initial question of when a baby becomes a human being… The pro-choice position is that the 21 week old baby in the photo to the left is not a human, and thus can be terminated. This is different from killing a one-week old infant out of the womb because that infant is a human with rights. Keeping the humble position that we don’t know when a baby gets a soul / becomes human, assuming both “at conception” and “at viability” are arbitrary guesses, look at this photo and ask if this yawning, thumb-sucking, kicking bundle of intricate beauty and complex organs is a human baby or a non-human something else.
At the crux of the abortion debate is human rights. We all acknowledge a woman has rights, but we also all acknowledge that a woman or man do not have the right to kill another human (if we agree with the murder and homicide laws of our country). If a baby is a human, it must have rights; this is why people who kill their infants end up on the front page of the newspaper and in prison for many years. If it is a non-human, it does not have rights. With a mother and a baby’s rights, one cannot be superior over another, as this is the definition of any type of oppression: one using their power to gain advantage over one with less power.
Killing the child within a pregnant mother counts as homicide or manslaughter in 38 states
In 38 of our 50 states, if the child within a pregnant woman dies in a violent act against the woman, it is considered homicide or manslaughter. (If the mother dies too, it’s a double homicide) That’s because these babies are considered human beings by these 38 states. Yet they can still be aborted; no problem.
2/3 of those 38 states apply the homicide / manslaughter law to any length of the pregnancy, even the earliest stages, while the other third apply a number of weeks when these laws take affect. See National Conference of State Legislatures website for details.
Statistics: different reasons given for abortions
A very strong factor in abortions to consider is women who have been raped, including incest, and women who would lose their lives if their baby was born. These are some of the strongest, and sometimes only, argument from the pro-choice perspective. These are extremely valid women’s rights concerns.
Less than 1/2% of the abortions surveyed are done because of rape. 4% are done because of physical health problems to the mother, though it’s not reported what percentage of that 4% would be fatal to the mother. 3% are done because of fetal health problems. It is an anonymous survey, which gives relative assurance that these women were being honest in their responses (thinking of the argument that a victim of rape would not want to share this information).
This leaves over 92% of abortions being done for reasons other than women’s rights or health rights. They are done for matters of convenience. Some call this using abortion as birth control. It also leaves 99.5% of abortions being done for reasons other than rape.
An interesting side note: a woman’s life is not guaranteed in abortion either. In 2012, four women died as a result of complications from known legal induced abortion; between 1973-2012, 427 women have died as a result of legal abortion (CDC).
The point of this is to say, can we not all agree that the 92% of abortions done as birth control need to be illegal? This does not include the strong moral case that a baby with a health problem (3%) has a right to live just as any other human does (that would take the percentage up to 95%). The strong arguments given by pro-choice advocates for women who have been raped or whose health is at risk simply to not apply to a vast majority of abortions. These are two separates arguments and they need two separate sets of support points given.
In cases of rape / incest
Here is a compromise some on the pro-life side will not want to make, but is necessary to protect women and to find some workable common ground we can hopefully agree to move forward on. I’m not saying I fully affirm this ethically, I’m saying it’s the closest thing to a workable solution that both sides could potentially agree on, based on their core arguments:
If abortion was made illegal, the morning after pill would need to be free and easy to access. This means no doctor’s visits, no prescription, and essentially no questions asked. This would address the majority of the rape cases. For the few that do not use this resource due to emotional trauma, or whatever other reason, last resort abortions for rape could be offered on a legal basis. The woman would not have to go to court for this, but they would need to submit paperwork to their doctor reporting the rape, where she would be encouraged, but not mandated, to press charges. If only ~0.5% of abortions are happening because of rape, and many of these could be addressed with free morning after pills, allowing this exception would reduce abortions from the 1-2 million number per year to possibly a few dozen.
In cases where the mother’s life is at risk
Another needed compromise: if a doctor (not a judge) deems a mother will die in childbirth, she can opt for an abortion.
Trusting Women to Choose
Here’s a meme I saw recently:
Two point to bring out here: One is that a baby doesn’t get a choice (again, the oppression argument of one with power usurping it over one without power). And two, not all people, men or women, can be trusted. Why do we fight so hard for a person’s right to choose when we see these same people (human beings, that is) making choices like:
27 year old mother kills new born baby by putting him in the fridge for 3 hours (faces a life sentence in prison)
Teen charged with murder after throwing her 2-pound premature baby out a second floor window
Mother smothers her 3-month-old son to death after he wouldn’t stop crying (charged with first-degree murder)
No one is fighting for these women’s right to choose. No one should trust their judgment. This is not to say women can’t be trusted, but it would be foolish to say all women, or all men can be trusted. It’s why we have murder laws in the first place. It’s why we have any laws at all. Every murder is justifiable to the rationale of the person doing it, and they feel is their right to choose. Fighting for the right to choose in and of itself is not noble.
Regret and the Oppression of Women by Abortion
Many women regret their abortions (And I know many won’t don’t. But that doesn’t negate that many women do.). They wish they had not listened to their boyfriend or their parents or their doctor and they will never forgive themselves. They were oppressed by these outside forces to make a decision they would not have made otherwise. As a result they become strong pro-life advocates, supporting many women to choose life. They tirelessly volunteer in pregnancy resource centers and in advocating for legislative change. I’m not saying this is the case for all women who have had abortions, I am saying it is for many. Related: the “Roe” woman (Norma McCorvey) from Roe v. Wade is a huge pro-life advocate now and has committed her life to overturning Roe v Wade. These voices need to be heard as they strongly disagree with the idea that abortion liberates women and it’s not fair to women as a whole to lump them all together into one category.
Pro-Lifers Need to be more than Pro-Birth
I need to mention how I hate the two party political system. I hate how Christians typically have to choose between saving babies lives on one hand, and saving refugee and immigrant lives on the other, as well as other biblical principles of helping the poor. I’m not saying the Democrat politics for helping the poor are perfect, I’m only making the observation that usually that side of the aisle leans that way.
One of the main reasons people get abortions is because they are single moms in poverty and don’t have the means to raise a child. And a child in their lives would derail / compete with the little provision they have for themselves in getting their basic needs met. You can make the argument that they shouldn’t have chose to have sex outside of marriage. I do think this is a valid argument and should not be dismissed. But it’s also not that black and white. I am not in a position to describe the pressure a single woman in poverty might feel to have sex with a man for any number of feelings of security, acceptance, or just plain pressure from the man, or the many situations that could present themselves where birth control wasn’t used or didn’t work.
My point is, if systemic poverty didn’t exist, many less women would choose abortion. There are plenty of affluent women who choose abortion, and even married couples who choose it. But to the point I’m making here, if Pro-Lifers, specifically Christian Pro-Lifers took the Bible more seriously on the need to love and support the poor, there would be less abortions. This is not an argument to make abortion legal, but it’s a justified effort to point out some hypocrisy in the Church and on the Pro Life side in a lot of cases. There’s a new phrase that I’ve heard in some Christian circles and it is that, “We are Pro Life…from the womb to the tomb.” What this means is we are Pro Life for all of a person’s life. Not just a righteous effort to make sure a baby gets to be born (which is noble and needed), but then to wash our hands of the deadly circumstances that baby is born into. I’m not naive enough to think we can solve systemic poverty, but we need to be consistent in our biblical beliefs and righteous efforts. “Womb to the tomb” means we don’t want anyone to die: not babies, not moms, not refugees, not immigrants, not in euthanasia, not by the death penalty. Some would add war or gun control to this list, which are arguments with merit. While I know I’m throwing some powder keg topics out there, my hope is that we can stay focused here on Pro-Life advocates being more than Pro-Birth. It stains our testimony, it gives Pro-Choice people a valid argument against us, it’s not consistent, and it’s harming real people. And if we want to decrease abortions, an additional great way to do this is to do whatever we can as individuals and as a system to support vulnerable mothers and to change the tide of systemic poverty. There are many pregnancy resource centers and homeless shelters for pregnant mothers in my city, most of them run by Christians. They likely exist in your town too. You need to support these organizations. You need to consider your politics around these issues, as difficult / impossible as that is in a bipartisan system. You need to be personally vested in the lives of those who are living under these circumstances.
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“Many” women do not regret their abortions. All evidence to the contrary (http://time.com/3956781/women-abortion-regret-reproductive-health/). You can speak anecdotally about a woman with regret, but please do not be disingenuous. It does not help your cause.
Noah Filipiak says
There have been around 60 million legal abortions since Roe v. Wade. If 5% of these women regretted their decision, that is 3 million women. 3 million definitely constitutes “many” and their voices need to be heard. That is a lot of mourning and a lot of pain to account for. I live in Lansing, MI, which is a city of around 100,000 people. So we’re talking 30 Lansings full of women who regret having abortions. Several of whom I know personally. That’s definitely “many.” And it’s not about helping my cause. That final point being the smallest point of all the points I made. It didn’t need to be made, but I did so for the sake of those 3 million women; I want their experience represented because it is typically dismissed.
This is absolutely hypocrisy. When you become a woman then you can insert yourself into the discussion. There is no reason as a man that this discourse should even be approached by men. You already acknowledge that, and should have stopped at the end of the acknowledgement.
Noah Filipiak says
But I can’t quote my wife (she’s a woman) or quote several of the woman I have counseled in my counseling ministry who have had abortions? Or quote the many women I know who are pro-life? Ok, thank you for your authority telling me I cannot quote the exact views of these women. Or that I can’t stand with them and for them. Or that I can’t stand with and for the unborn, who have no voice. Even though my Bible commands me to do this:
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
I understand I can never relate to being a woman, but I am not speaking in a vacuum here. The idea that men can’t speak to defend babies is unfounded, or that we can’t echo the exact thoughts of women we support is unfounded.
Just a few thoughts. If a “fetus” is not human because it cannot live on its own then when my mother was on life support she was no longer a human being. I cannot agree with that. Noah, thank you for speaking out for the unborn. Men should be in on this discussion because abortion does not just kill female babies, it also kills male babies. If you as a man, have no say in abortion than you have no say in creating a baby. That is wrong. I do not believe that this is just a female issue. Abortion kills babies.
Noah Filipiak says
Thank you Deb. You have made another great point, one which I think pokes a sizeable hole in the pro-choice definition that “human” = viable away from mother. Many people have loved ones on life support, and some occasions the person even recovers from life support.
I am interested in hearing from pro-choice folks on the counter-arguments to their points, including this one and the others I’ve represented in this article. Thus far I have only heard I’m a man so I can’t talk about these things and that most women do not regret their abortions. (I’m including the Facebook thread as well, which is where most of the action of this discussion is taking place) No one has actually interacted with what I think, honestly, are points that prove the pro-choice viewpoints to be wrong. I say that humbly, wanting to hear from pro-choice people on why they aren’t wrong on the things I’ve presented. Saying “It’s my body, I have a right to do what I want” isn’t actual interaction either if it’s been proven there is another body inside of you, so now there are two bodies to consider, yours and one other. Or if you continue to hold that viewpoint unswervingly, while admitting it’s a human body inside of you, then you are the definition of an oppressor, one using their power against a weaker power. If you aren’t an oppressor, then again, interact with these points and show why/how.
I find your inclusion of pregnancy tracking apps very interesting and not a reliable point in your argument about viability and life. How women use those apps is incredibly subjective. I am pregnant and pro-choice ( I know, a conundrum, huh?). I have used a tracking app since very early in my pregnancy. My decision to view my fetus as as “baby” in the early stages was largely emotional and after I fully embraced that I would continue on with the pregnancy and embraced this new and emerging identity of mother. Women who do not get to the point I or your wife get to, do not use those apps or see the fetus as a “baby”.
How one chooses to acknowledge and embrace or deny their pregnancy in those early stages is theirs to decide. Pro-choice people are not telling women who have had miscarriages not to mourn those early loses. I myself have mourned the miscarriages of my friends, and I do not deny them those feelings and that loss as clumps of cells. Please, do not assume to speak for the feelings and motivations for folks who are pro choice when, really, you have no idea and obviously haven’t taken the time to find out what we think of these issues.
Noah Filipiak says
This shows your worldview about truth, a foundational position I disagree with. You are using a worldview where a person gets to decide whatever they would like to be true, where I am saying there is an objective truth at work here. This is probably not a disagreement we will overcome. If I believe I am 6’6″ but I’m actually 5’11”, it doesn’t change that I’m actually 5’11”. I’m not trying to be snarky with that comment, but to show a philosophical argument where we differ that is very foundational. I am saying there is an objective life inside the woman who has an abortion, you are saying she decides if it’s a life or not.
Yours is a very slippery slope as the mother who kills her infant may have also decided to deny her child rather than acknowledge and embrace it, like the mother who had the abortion. My point is, with your philosophical worldview where the individual gets to decide their own truth, where do you draw the line? Why does she only get to decide this during the early stages of the pregnancy and not the later stages? Or after birth? And once you make that determination for her, wouldn’t you be giving her an absolute truth and infringing her freedom to choose her own truth?
p.s. by the way, this comment of yours DOES count as interaction with one of my actual arguments, thank you! I mean that.
Since you are asking people pro-choice people to engage with you on your points, I’ll continue…
You pointed out three cases of women who killed their children. I think we can both agree that those who were killed were alive and fully formed humans, correct? If we can, then these women should never be part of an argument around abortion.
While I do not disagree that they committed a crime, I do have other questions about who those women are and what they were facing that led them to make the choice to kill their child. I would venture to say that there is some level mental illness and trauma in their past? Maybe they were suffering from an extreme case of post-partum depression? Or, maybe, they never wanted to be mothers in the first place and didn’t have an option or the resourced to terminate their pregnancy? Exploring each of those questions forces us to look at how those deaths could have been prevented. It forces us to consider the humanity of the women who did those horrible acts. I’m more interested in figuring those things than holding them up as arguments for or against choice and as tragic examples to prove a point.
Noah Filipiak says
Hello, and thank you for your interaction, I genuinely appreciate it. Though you still aren’t interacting with the points I made…what I mean is, I wrote an argument that babies in the womb are human, comparing the death of a one week old human to an unborn human. So before you can say “then these women (the ones who killed their babies) should never be part of an argument around abortion” you need to interact (and prove wrong) my point that babies in the womb are human. If babies in the womb are human, and one-week old babies killed by their mothers are human, then they definitely be in the same conversation. If you can show, (by proving my points wrong) that unborn babies aren’t human, then you can make that statement. And I don’t mean “prove” like hard evidence, I’m just saying give a counter-point to these points I have made, which still no one has done yet.
I’m genuinely not trying to assault your comment here, it just feels like you answered my argument of “unborn babies are human” by saying “born babies are human but unborn ones aren’t”, which isn’t actually interaction, you’re just saying I’m wrong but not showing how or why.
With the mothers who killed their babies, we can all agree that those babies didn’t deserve to die, no matter what her motivation was for doing so. That’s the point I’m making, and I still think it’s very sound (am looking for pro choice people to show me how it isn’t). No matter the mother’s motivation or reasoning, the baby didn’t deserve to die. Which I’m arguing is that that holds true for both a one-week old and a baby in the womb. Exploring questions about the mother’s mental illness is sort of just changing the subject.
Sam B says
With the exception of a few statements you’ve made in this article, this is still by far the best piece of writing I’ve ever read that you have written.
Noah Filipiak says
Thanks Sam. I updated the previous article I published a couple years ago with some additional content since the topic is such a hot button in the news again.
Good luck trying to be rational about abortion, altho you did a great job trying to bring the points out fairly. It seems like the issue hinges on where you invest rights: with the mother or the baby. I’m not sure if it’s possible to say when a fetus becomes a baby with a soul. Seeing the images like the one in your post, I’m hard pressed to see a fetus as other than a human being and cause of that, I’m not sure viability as the threshold, even tho it’s rational, trumps the life of growing fetus.
I wasn’t gonna comment at all but earlier today I read this quote that hit me. All the news I heard & read about passing the strict anti-abortion bills seemed to hinge, not on blocking abortions, but on whether to include exceptions for rape and incest. To me as a guy, those seemed reasonable. Then I read this: “my heart is with every child of rape, foster child, child with disability, etc who has basically been told on all forms of news & social media they aren’t wanted & don’t deserve to exist right now.” My threshold of reasonable seems pretty callous now.
One other thing: maybe it wasn’t the post to mention it, but like so much today, isn’t there a racial component to abortion?
Once again, great job! It’s gotta be harder as a pastor to have others willing to believe they can meet you half-way. Hope the new job is more than you hoped it would be.
Noah Filipiak says
Thanks a lot Alan. It is certainly a topic people get super passionate about, on both sides. I try my best to see the concerns of the pro-choice side and give them credit when it’s due, and also to point out where I think they are wrong.
I know politicians will never read or act on what I write, but I think there’s still merit in putting it out there. I really do hate our political system. Not the politicians themselves, but this two party propaganda where you just have to toe the party line on everything. I think a much better democracy could be to let the citizens vote on the actual issues themselves, not just elect the people who do. That’s what I like most about election day, is the city and township proposals where my vote actually determines a law, rather than laws being pre-determined by the Rep or Dem party line.
I’m not sure about majority rule on laws and policy, our system can work if our representatives cared more about what’s good than what’s good for their party. But I’m with ya on what we got today, it’s hard seeing a nation’s politics destroy the soul of its people. But our politics is only the reflection of who we are and what we’ve become. Our politics and politicians won’t change till we do.
Tbh, I’m not sure if our current politics can go back to something more wholesome in a reasonable amount of time. It may be time to try something different. It sounds crazy, but what if there were no parties. Politicians would stand for what they believed, and voters would have to do the harder work of becoming informed. Right now, party labels shortcircuit responsibility.
What’s a disconnect for me is the atmosphere around all things political is supercharged in terms of the news of the day, as if it’s of primary importance. But voting levels are slightly above half of those eligible to vote. With all the passion and anger surrounding politics, it feels like I’m being sold a bill of goods. It’s good to take a step back and breathe and realize there’s other more important things.
Dennis B says
I have heard my wife talk more than once about her miscarriage so I know that to her it was more than just tissue. We both look forward someday to meeting this child. She was very sick with her last child and possibly could have lost her life. So when I hear our daughter-in-law go on and on about if she was to get pregnant how it could kill her I have to think “If your Mother-in-law would have made that choice many years ago who would you be married to now as it sure would not be our son.” In my circle of friends I also am aware of some ladies who now have regrets for having had an abortion. For me I am certainly glad that my Mother chose life. Noah thank you for taking time to present this information.
Noah Filipiak says
You’re welcome Dennis, thank you for the comment, it is helpful.
How can doctors and nurses kill these innocent babies. If they can kill all the 21 week ( or earlier) babies and not think twice, whom else are they able to look at in the face and kill?? Babies are the most innocent humans on earth….and a doctor can just abort them with no remorse?? I believe they could very easily hurt or kill anyone. God help them.!!!! So sad….thank God these innocent children will be in heaven once they are murdered.
This is painful and difficult for some people to acknowledge: Other people’s babies, before they are born, do not belong to you. If they do, I should have pick of whichever pregnant woman’s baby I’d like. Why don’t I?
Removing fundamental control of their bodies from one set of people in the name of saving another set of people (or, more likely, in defense of a self-serving principle) is what a Muslim refugee ban, or ejecting immigrants from this country, is all about. It’s what Nazism is all about. Once we get comfortable stripping someone of his or her bodily rights in the name of “saving” someone or something else, there’s little to stop us justifying whatever inhumane action we see fit. This is a country full of “good Christians” who elected a man they hoped would forcibly remove people of color and send them back to the terror they were running from. This is a country built with the bodies and blood of living, breathing people we stole and enslaved. Christians, remember: There was that thing with the Crusades, and the Spanish Inquisition. When the church seeks political power, bad things happen to real people.
When Christians seek political power and make arguments for outlawing abortion, we seek to soothe the part of us that is most comfortable with white male supremacy, the hallmark of white Christian evangelicalism. We simply can’t handle that a woman, too, must give an account of herself before God. Only men are allowed that privilege, in this brand of Christianity.
Controlling what a women does with her body and her pregnancy may *feel* good to us, but I suspect if we took a minute to think about it, we can see that laws designed to force women to “suffer the consequences” of sexual activity is the antithesis of how Christ approached people, and the opposite of how he requires us to behave towards others.
One example of why I am confident our intentions are bad: We aren’t introducing DNA test laws ensure that the men who participated in these pregnancies are paying their fair share in medical bills and child support. We are not willing to pay for universal health care. We are unwilling to pay for subsidized childcare. The fact that there are no laws like these, lays bare our thirst for revenge, that these abortion laws are based on the desire to hurt women, rather than to help children.
I am heartbroken for my women friends and family who have suffered a miscarriage or stillbirth, or have had ignorant and hurtful words cast her way about her baby not being “real,” following such an event. Yet, white, middle-class, Christian women like my friends and family are unlikely to be charged with a crime following miscarriage. So that means in addition to infantilizing and dehumanizing adult women of all cultures, we’re willfully condemning poor women and women of color to face a harsher reality than many of us white ladies with resources will ever will face. I must continue to call out this attitude for the wickedness that it is.
“If abortion — and potentially, by extension, miscarriage — is criminalized, we already know who will be harmed first: The same communities already being jailed for living in our nation without the right immigration papers, the pregnant asylum seekers being shackled by US Marshals, the black and brown bodies scrutinized by police in our neighborhoods, and the same communities chastised by politicians for having too many children. The US criminal justice system has always unjustly penalized communities of color for crimes that wealthier white communities receive slight or no punishment for; studies have shown despite black and white communities using drugs at the same rate, black Americans are stopped, frisked, and prosecuted at higher rates.”
Noah Filipiak says
Hi Sarah, thank you for the comment. You said a lot, I want to try to respond as I appreciate your time and contribution. I’m not going to lie, we definitely diverge on some of the philosophical ways of approaching this argument. I disagree with the argument that people think these unborn babies belong to them. I think it’s just a matter of societal ethics. For example, it’s illegal to kill an infant, but I don’t think voting citizens or law makers (or whoever) think they own those infants. I think they are just making an ethics call that that infant is a human with rights and shouldn’t be killed in this society. And the same logic is being applied to that baby on the other side of the woman’s body. These folks are just seeing it as the same baby with the same rights and making an ethics call on behalf of that baby, but also just for our society as a whole. We don’t want to be a society that lets infants be killed, so we don’t want to be one that lets unborn infants be killed either, often for the same reason that born-infants are killed. I’m not going to sway your view with this, but I want to try to show what the pro-life mindset is, as I don’t think anyone thinks these babies belong to them.
What do you feel is the self-serving principle that pro-life people are defending?
I’m not following you on comparing pro-life to Nazism. I don’t like using such extreme examples personally, as I have heard pro-lifers say abortion is like Nazism, killing all those babies is like killing all those Jews. I don’t think anyone likes being compared to Hitler (it’s not helpful for productive movement forward), and I think it’s usually not accurate to do so.
I’m all about immigrant and refugee rights and America has been terrible at that with Trump’s presidency, which I’ve written extensively about. But I don’t see the connect with the philosophy of those topics and the pro-choice argument. Are you saying that the pregnant women are like the refugee and immigrant and we are expelling them / their rights? I’m not saying that is or isn’t what you’re saying, I just am not following it so am seeking to understand.
I love your law ideas here: “We aren’t introducing DNA test laws ensure that the men who participated in these pregnancies are paying their fair share in medical bills and child support. We are not willing to pay for universal health care. We are unwilling to pay for subsidized childcare.” –that’s the kind of thing I’m talking about at the end of my article. We need these things to be consistent. But I don’t think it needs to be either/or, I think it is both/and.
Who / how are people putting miscarriage next to abortion — “If abortion — and potentially, by extension, miscarriage — is criminalized…” This would be a major stretch in my opinion with no correlation at all, with how I’m currently understanding that. A woman has no control over a miscarriage, whereas the abortion is a choice that is made.
I agree with everything in your last paragraph, except with how it relates to abortion / abortion laws. Or at least I don’t understand the connection you / they are making.
Related but unrelated, I hate the bipartisan political system. I hate how people are forced to toe the party line. I would fall democrat on many ethical issues, particularly heightened by Trump’s inexplicable non-Christlike example as a man and a president, but would fall republican for protecting baby’s lives. I see protecting baby’s lives similar to protecting immigrants and refugees; I see it as a social justice for the most vulnerable. I also see pregnant women as vulnerable. Can’t we pass bills and laws, some like you mention, for helping single / vulnerable moms while also protecting baby’s lives? I don’t like a political system that makes me choose.
My sister had a miscarriage at 15/16 weeks a few years ago. It was very traumatic for her bleeding until she fainted. Her husband drove her to the hospital, where she was admitted, the trauma nurse, when she triaging her, said: “I’m sorry for your loss, but at this point it wasn’t a baby anyways,” in her pain and half faint as she was, my sister said she felt like reaching up and slapping her. And insist on that, yes it was a baby, from the moment it was conceived.
She did a D n C the next morning, the Dr. A big bulky Ukrainian, came up to her before the surgery, placed his big paw on her shoulder, squeezed it and said: “I’m sorry you lost your baby” what a difference!
When we discussed it later, a friend of ours said, that the trauma nurse probably thought what she said was comforting. ♂️
Noah Filipiak says
Thanks for the comment Lyanna. Your example shows how even the medical community is divided on what is “scientific.” You have a nurse who thinks one thing and a doctor who thinks something very different. I think that’s a helpful thing for everyone to remember. And also, another example of a woman being hurt because she knew her child was a baby and wasn’t treated that way. I so often hear from pro-choice women that all women think unborn babies are fetuses and that only men think they are babies, which I think is disrespectful to women who don’t agree with that.